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tv   Tavis Smiley  WHUT  January 20, 2011 8:30am-9:00am EST

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>> good evening. i am tavis smiley. this is "america's next chapter. i am joined by a terrific panel including david brody, maria teresa kumar, dana milbank, arianna huffington, maria bartiromo, cornel west, david frum, and john s. chen. we are glad you have joined us. coming up now. [applause]
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>> all i know is his name is james, and he needs extra help with his reading. >> i am james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference -- >> thank you. >> you help us all live better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis in working to improve financial literacy and remove obstacles to economic empowerment, one conversation at a time. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] [applause] tavis: hu jintao is on his way
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to the usa. what's to we expect our government to get for us out of those conversations? what ought to be bringing back to is when the summit is over? >> open the market, with as played evenly, fairly, and transparently. by the way, it goes both ways. if you are a foreign entity and you want to invest in the u.s., if you are chinese, you feel unwelcome. it ties to our process and to some level of -- i would not say discrimination but distinction. fear, mistrust, distrust on our
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part. and it goes into the core of the immigration and everything else surrounding that. our country needs to rethink how to create jobs here. and china is investing $100 billion a year, united states dollars in investment. we are getting through% or 4%. that is not acceptable. tavis: you said without hesitation, open the markets. maria bartiromo whispered in my ear, "impossible." >> this is where the rubber meets the road. we had tires coming from china and they were being sold at very
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low levels. cheaper than american company tires. there was a big outcry from workers. why are americans buying those tires and not the tires we make in this country? they're cheaper. how do we -- we are putting terrace to make them -- terex to make them more expensive. -- tariffs to make them more expensive. 300 million people, 3 billion people. our companies need to sell to an emerging middle class, and we need to come to an agreement. in order to prosper all of us. on the big -- two big to fail, i do not think it is necessarily too big to fail. too connected to fail. these are not necessarily evil.
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if you are connected all the world, you know aig was ensuring everything and when the lights went out, the financial system was -- another conversation. tavis: how scared should we be? >> we should not be afraid. to thoseto sell people. we need to manufacture products in this country and sell all over the world. [applause] that is where policy comes in. we need a policy to keep some manufacturing and some jobs, the good jobs, the jobs we want here. if a company can do something in india that is cheaper, they will. >> teltavis: why should we be hopeful, given this
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proposition. why should we be hopeful we can play on a level playing field with china? >> tuolumne answer. this -- let me answer. this point has been bouncing back a few times. 00 million against on3.5 billion. i am fortunate i came from silicon valley. the productivity is eight times. i would overwhelm that if we innovate. innovation gets you the margin dollars. that is tied to my earliest thing. >> absolutely. >> we have to have an education system and the immigration system. >> one of the things we're missing is it is the american culture.
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what to export -- what do we export the people want to emulate? that is our strength and no one is talking about. a weakening competitive with china? india has a film industry. our difference is we have used soft power. tavis: you are not suggesting we will act in dance our way out of this, are you? [applause] [laughter] >> it is an industry that we have been ableo sell. what needs -- it means to be rich. >> they have to play by the rules and not to be our stuff. >> we should be afraid for china. compared to their problems, our problems are molehills. that is something they are
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conscious of. we should not lose sight, from their unfree present discussion, from their propagandistic media. their neglect of the countryside and over investment in skies grippers and high-speedrains. there are 500 million people living in the countryside who are living, it is not just a problem that they are poor. the problem is they are increasingly impatient. when you look at the history of this country, the great migration, black farmers from the south and i forget how many people that was. >> millions. >> maybe 3 million or 4 million. there are 500 million in the chinese countryside. think of the social upheaval that created. resentment between groups. how difficult it was to work out. whole under
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that transformation. imagine doing a times 150. that is their problem. we have our problems. our problems, i agree with a rianna. our problem is the dysfunctional political system. one thought about that. i am haunted by tip o'neill. he served one-third of a century. he was asked, how did congress change? he said the people are better. the results are worse. that is true again and again. whatever you think of your member of congress, as compared to half a century ago, they're more honest, hard-working, more sober. >> if you talk to them about this objective experience of being a member of congress,
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they're frustrated. they cannot get things done. everything they do to make the system better. the result is frustrating. tavis: the problem is and i have been trying to keep track on the things we agree on. we have not gotten into this multi-cultural or multiracial conversation or the lack thereof. either -- our government is broken. anyone disagree? broken system and it needs to be fixed. if that is the problem, how do we fix it? arianna huffington. >> the problem with the current elected officials is there are 26 lobbies for each member. that means on top of everything
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else, one may be celebrating the passage of financial reform. they're they're undermining it. by the time financial reform is enacted, it will bear relation -- little relation to what he celebrated. we saw that again and again in every disaster. we saw in the bp disaster in the mining disaster. all the loopholes that have been introduced and maybe impossible to regulate. the fact you can have regulations that do not work if you have a dysfunctional system. america has been amazing in terms of using soft power. china is getting better at it. we're spending over $100 billion in afghanistan pursuing an unnecessary and a marble and --
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immoral and unwinnable war. china is spending money for its industry. who do you think will win the battle? this is beyond left and right. a consensus is emerging and that is one of the most promising thing. t the war. agains th more republicans are asking for oversight into how the money is being spent. the good thing about wikileaks is a very clear chronicling of the corruption that is going on, the taxpayer money is being wasted. we could use it for social services at home. >> dan has been thinking a lot.
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i wanted to ask you some questions. unpack them as you see fit. to the point about the system being broken. you covered this broken system all the time. how do you go about covering, how do you remain hopeful about a system that is broken and i want to ask a question about afghanistan and iraq. into my first question first. >> i am sort of a counter indicator. if this government were working very well, i might be out of a job. [laughter] i exist to point out what is wrong with the government. i could find another line of work. maybe i could get something on wall street. i would take that deal. my job is to point out what is wrong and why things are going
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of as badly as they are. there is a sense that our government has been sold to the highest bidder. this was a problem when they were asleep before the financial crisis. the tea party was so upset with the way the elites were governing the country, they forced a change. they have been had. 13 of the new republican freshmen have hired lobbyists as their chief of staff. they have been having fund- raisers all over town, raking in money from lobbyists. a lobbyist is john boehner's new policy director. a lobbyist is running health care on the commerce committee. they do not run for election every two years, the run for election perpetually and they are perpetually doing whatever it takes to get these required contributions. it is not a republican or democratic thing and that gets to where the system is broken.
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this is great business for me. selfishly. i can watch all this banality and bad behavior and people breaking their principles to raise a dollar. that is the source of mine in torment and the source of the problem. >> given the corruption, politicians'perennial fund raisers, looking to big business and banks for their money, hance corporate influence and hands big financial influence on the government. and confidence in big government. gradeed, and concentrated grade with consequences for them. who pays the cost -? -- greed and concentrated
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greed with consequences for them. it was -- there is no reference to slavery in the constitution. that is important for immigrants who just got here. this is important. you're not coming in with this robust opportunity and mobility without understanding the history and the degree to which this marvelous constitution which was marvelous because americans had the courage to make it more free and democratic by abolishing slavery and then there comes jim crow. that was another 90 years. we had to raise -- what is invisible today? we have seen 2.5 million citizens lot tend to not just the schools but who was paying
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the cost we talk about this corruption at the top? that is why i have been hesitant in terms of the excess of celebration. i do agree with the flooded the and possibility and so forth, but when i look at who is paying the cost, no serious talk about that in the halls of power. why? the will of the people is a threat to the oligarchs and plutocrats. [applause] i did not get the question of wanted to ask. dr. west gave me the perfect segue. mrsa was nice and i can go back to dinner. -- dana was nice and i can go back to dana. what is the cost that we pay,
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being tied to this war in afghanistan, being tied to the war in iraq. this is the longest military experts in this country has ever endured, iraq. -- excursion this country has ever endured, iraq. ourselves awayr -- what if we cannot terror cells away from these wars long term? >> beyond the immediate cost, the problem that the spending on the war has created -- the problem is that the spending has created a need to situation. we're able to afford some of the hundreds of billions of dollars for wars in iraq and afghanistan. everyone is saying since we can run these wars without paying for them, we can do other things. $13 trillion worth of debt
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without paying for them. if the corrosion has gone beyond the money in this case, i think one of the problems with the wars we were never asked to sacrifice for them. i am not speaking in terms of taxes. a small sliver of america has anything to do with this -- these wars. one of my pet projects has been some sense of national service. some sense of sacrifice, some sense that we are in this together. he will not hear a thing about it. in congress right now or anywhere in this town. there is a sense that that war is detached and over there. there is no sense as there was in the second world war that we're in this together. that led to these problems in the rest of our culture. >> i think this is a place, even
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though the nation is split on afghanistan. there's a lot of common ground. you have liberals and conservatives agreeing many times on what to do in afghanistan. that is an interesting dynamic. when you put liberals and conservatives together, they are lucky to get out. i do not think there is one big happy answer. on politics and how to fix them. this was the original question, how to fix government. i think the simple answer and i know it is simple. there is something about this, if you're going to drink the potomac water, drinking a quick and get out. term limits and this idea of power corrupts. corruption and power together, it is too much. it is too much here. he have to get in and get out. i think that is a big part of what is going on here. that is in terms of fixing the
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problem, this is what the tea pa degree was about. getting citizen legislators. there is a movie called "get out of our house". electing -- it is going back to the grassroots of getting citizen legislators in a set of politics -- instead of politicians who have been drinking the potomac to much. tavis: i need to understand this. when the tea party said we're going to take our country back, from whom? [laughter] [applause] seriously. this rant all the time.
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we are taking this country back. >> we're taking our country back to constitutional view of what they believe the constitution requires or what it says. it is not take our country back in terms of tax some heat and let's go. that is not what this is about. getting back to a point you made earlier, dr. west. there is a danger in saying, using the race as a word, you were saying there was an element of racism to the tea party. i can tell you that inherent in that is a dismissive attitude towards the tea party. it is basically trying to not justify its existence and power in this country.
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>> i am concerned about the truth. >> we record the audio. i can go back to that and listen. i am looking around the corner. i am looking around the crowd. i have to tell you, it is not there. >> how many black folk are there here? black folk are very intelligent. we get a sense of what is going on. [laughter] [applause] >> there is people i talk to, congressman tim scott who is a tea party member. attended -- one of his events
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in south carolina in front of a crowd of 55-plus and he was beloved there. [laughter] my point is that if you go and look from an in-depth perspectives, a lot of these charges are not founded. >> can i jump on? the first that started were upper-middle-class white males. my father is a white male. i have nothing against my dad.
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the middle class white male felt disenfranchised. they had not marched because they were old time vets and they were fighting. they want the america they were in love with. tavis: that is all we have time for. join us for the final conversation. you can get to the whole conversation by visiting our web site. good night from washington and keep the faith. captioned by the national captiong institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at pbs.org tavis: join me next time for the third and final night of our conversation from washington, a "america's next chapter." >> all i know is his name is james, and he needs extra help with his reading.
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>> i am james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference -- >> thank you. >> you help us all live better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis in working to improve financial literacy and remove obstacles to economic empowerment, one conversation at a time. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more. pbs.
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